Romney Capitalizes on Nation's Turn Around from Terrorism to Concern Over Economy
Photo/text by Renee Burrell
When Mitt Romney won the Michigan primary Tonight Show host Jay Leno poked fun at both parties, "Congratulations to Mitt Romney, he was the big winner in the Michigan primary. His dad used to be governor there, which I think is an inspiration. It proves in America that you don't have to be the wife of a former president to win, sometimes you can just be the son of a governor."
While the Democratic presidential candidates were campaigning heavily in South Carolina prior to Florida's primary Tuesday, the Republican candidates were zigzagging across the sunshine state at a frantic pace. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney made a quick stop at St. Petersburg Clearwater International Airport late Friday afternoon for a press conference just as the core republican vote was divided between him and Arizona Senator John McCain.
Romney's strategy of late has been to point out McCain's own admission that he didn't understand the economy.
Romney's message is for voters to look to him for leadership because he has life experience in business and understands the American economy. "I spent my time in the economy. . . . I know something about it," he said Friday.
Romney, 60, has life long experience in campaign politics also. The Michigan born, one-term Massachusetts governor's career path has been closely following in his father's footsteps. George Romney, was a former American Motors chairman, governor of Michigan, and failed 1960s presidential candidate. His wife and Mitt's mother, Lenore Romney, lost a Michigan race in 1970 for a US senatorial seat. Older brother, George Scott Romney is a Michigan Republican politician and lawyer, who lost a bid for the Michigan Attorney General's office in 1998. His former wife, Ronna lost a bid in Michigan for United States Senate in 1996.
Romney and his supporters put the accent on his business past. After college where he simultaneously received a law degree from Harvard Law and a Master of Business from Harvard Business School, Romney headed up Bain Capital, a private equity firm that bought up companies. He helped turn around numerous under performing businesses, while developing new ones, such as Staples and Domino's Pizza.
Before serving as the Massachusetts Governor, Romney made headlines as the head of the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics on the heels of a highly publicized bribery scandal. Romney successfully bolstered the event by ending with a $50 million surplus and turning around its tarnished reputation.
In speeches and ads Romney has vowed to make America strong again, and says the way to measure its strength isn't a defense issue. Addressing the Detroit Economic Club Address January 14, Romney said, "We're accustomed as a people to measuring our national security in terms of missiles and aircraft and defense spending. But I would suggest that as we look down the lane for this next century, a better measure of our national security is the health of our economy. You cannot have a first-tier military and have a second-tier economy. The Soviet Union learned that the hard way and Ronald Reagan taught it to them."
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